Phillip Schofield and Declan Donnelly smiling

Phillip Schofield’s Instagram return branded ‘calculated’ amid ‘heavy hint’ from Declan Donnelly star ‘will make grand TV comeback this year’

Could I'm A Celebrity 2024 be calling…?

Phillip Schofield returned to Instagram today (May 15) in what one expert has called a “calculated” move.

Kayley Cornelius, Celebrity PR Specialist at Betfred, reckons the post could be a way for the TV presenter’s team to test the water ahead of what she predicts will be a huge TV comeback later this year…

Phillip Schofield smiling in a black shirt
Phillip Schofield made an Instagram comeback today but something bigger could be in the offing (Credit: Splash News)

Phillip Schofield in Instagram comeback

A year on from his last grid post, Phillip returned to social media earlier today. He shared a picture of his dog Alfie appearing to watch the Formula One on telly.

And, after 12 months out of the spotlight, Kayley reckons that as innocent as the post appears, it could signal that something much bigger is on the way… Especially after Phillip was pictured stepping out with Declan Donnelly over the weekend.

She said: “After Phil’s controversy and the stark end to his This Morning career, there’s no surprise that he went straight into hiding for several months following the incident. This left many speculating whether he would eventually return to TV or permanently call it quits. However, as tensions start to die down, there are now signs to indicate that Phil could be teasing his return to the big screens. And it could be as soon as this year.”

‘Key giveaway’

Kayley added: “One of the key giveaways is the increased public sightings of Schofield. Initially, the photos of Phil after his resignation were sparse and seemed authentically candid. But in recent months, paparazzi shots appear more calculated. While I wouldn’t outright claim they’re staged, it’s clear his team recognises that Phil’s increasing public presence and interactions with celebrity friends naturally draw press attention. It seems they’ve shifted from their previous mission of keeping Phil out of the spotlight to a more embracing stance.

“In PR, we call this the ‘sprinkle sprinkle’ method. This is when you subtly reintroduce a concept, person or product to an audience to gauge their reaction. It is typically used as a form of risk assessment before finalising projects.”

Declan Donnelly smiling in a brown jacket
Could Phil have been speaking to Dec about I’m A Celeb earlier this week? (Credit: Splash News)

Dec’s ‘heavy hint’ over Schofe’s TV return

Kayley reckons that we can expect to see Phillip make a return to TV later this year. And, she predicts, that after being spotted with Dec, I’m A Celebrity 2024 could be in Schofe’s sights…

“His most recent sighting with Declan Donnelly could be a heavy hint that the two met to discuss the potential of Phil making his grand return on this year’s series of I’m A Celebrity. And this could be a smart move if Phil is looking to continue his career in TV.

Ideal opportunity to rebuild public trust.

“There’s no doubting that Phil has lost a lot of trust amongst his fans and viewers at home. Phil and his team will be aware that his return will be met with a lot of mixed emotions. So going forward, it will be all about repairing his identity and regaining trust in people who may sit on the fence.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Phillip Schofield (@schofe)

Phillip Schofield Instagram return preempting TV comeback?

Speaking more about a potential I’m A Celebrity stint, Kayley added: “Firstly, the casting seems like a natural fit. We are all aware of Schofield’s long-standing relationship with ITV, so it’s familiar territory. And with reports of many bosses at the broadcast station still supporting the former This Morning host, he will probably feel more comfortable returning in an environment he feels supported in.

“Secondly, I believe there is no way Phil could jump straight back into a presenting role.”

She then added: “While Phil’s team might consider adopting the ‘act as if nothing has happened’ approach and hope for the best, the prolonged radio silence may have left viewers feeling in the dark still. This could potentially exacerbate the situation and pose a crisis not only for Phil but also for any TV station involved.”

Kayley concluded: “Therefore, positioning Phil in a more relaxed setting like I’m A Celebrity – where he isn’t the primary focus – could allow him to show a more vulnerable and lighthearted side.

“It could also serve as the ideal opportunity to rebuild public trust and pave the way for him to kickstart his television career once again.”

Read more: Reuben Owen tipped for I’m A Celebrity 2024 stint

YouTube video player

So what do you think? Tell us on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Nancy Brown
Associate Editor